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Canadian Science Policy Centre | Panel 6: The crucial role of small and medium size universities for advancing Canadian social and economic development

Panel 6: The crucial role of small and medium size universities for advancing Canadian social and economic development

Download: panel_6.mp3

Small and medium size universities across Canada are critical for advancing Canadian economic development and prosperity. Research excellence takes place in all universities and has a strategic and significant impact to the development of a prosperous economy based on science and innovation in all communities in the country. National Science policies too often ignore or underestimate the crucial role and impact of small and medium size universities.

Without the contribution of small and medium size universities, national science capacity would be severely undermined. Likewise, without science policies that recognize the important contributions of these institutions, S&T impact on economic and social development would be severely hampered across the nation, and perhaps more particularly, in smaller communities where these universities are often located.

The panel is composed of key representatives from comprehensive small and medium size research universities across Canada, will present cases of research excellence and their impact on economic and social development, and proposed avenue for advancing Canada’ science policy.

Intended outcomes are of two folds: evidence of research excellence across the country and its impact on all communities; and, identification of risks to our national science capacity if the role of small and medium size universities is not adequately recognized and support by science policy in Canada.

Moderator Details

President and Vice Chancellor
University of Northern British Colombia

Dr. Daniel J. Weeks, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia, is a cognitive neuroscientist and an internationally-recognized expert on human motor control. His current research examines the influences of brain specialization, skill acquisition, motor control and attention on spatial cognition and decision-making processes. He also has a research program focused on skill acquisition in persons with Down syndrome and those with other intellectual challenges. He has pioneered new brain imaging techniques to determine the impact of cerebral specialization and information processing on health and behaviour. As a former member of the Board of Directors of Down Syndrome International, Dr. Weeks has also engaged in promoting health and physical activity in developing countries around the world as a fundamental human right for persons with intellectual disabilities. In addition to his research and teaching career, the last several years have increasingly focused on university leadership. In that context he has developed and established numerous university-partnerships and collaborations.

Panelist Details

J. Kevin Vessey
Associate Vice President of Research, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Biology
Saint Mary’s University

J. Kevin Vessey is the Associate Vice President of Research, Dean of Graduate Studies, and a Professor of Biology at Saint Mary’s University. Dr. Vessey received his BSc and MSc in Biology from Dalhousie University and his PhD in Biology from Queen’s University, Kingston. Aside from his 16 years as a Professor of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba, he has also been a Researcher Associate at North Carolina State University, and a Visiting Scientist at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France. Dr. Vessey’s teaching and research area is plant physiology, particularly the functional interactions between crop plants and beneficial micro-organisms, and the optimizing of crops as biodiesel and bioethanol feedstocks. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed scholarly articles and book chapters and has co-edited one book. He has directly supervised over 50 undergraduate/graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates. He has been awarded several regional and national research awards including the C.D. Nelson Award by the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists. Positions in which Dr. Vessey has recently served, or is currently serving, include Grant Selection Committees of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; Advisory Committees for the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada, and TRIUMF (the Tri-University Meson Facility); and the Boards of Directors for the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies, the Offshore Energy Technology Research Association, Plant Inoculants Canada, and Springboard Atlantic Inc.

Michael Owen
Vice President Research, Innovation & International
University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Dr. Michael Owen is Vice-President Research, Innovation & International at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In that capacity, Dr. Owen leads the Office of Research Services, including research ethics, RCR, and technology and knowledge mobilization. He is the senior officer responsible for the development of a long-term strategic vision and the implementation and management of all policies and procedures related to research, innovation and international activities. He is a Professor with the UOIT’s Faculty of Education.

David Cruise Malloy
Vice President Research
University of Regina

David Cruise Malloy, PhD is the Vice President at the University of Regina, Canada. He is the Principal Investigator for the International Healthcare Ethics Research Team at the University of Regina (, the Foreign Director of the International Bioethics Research Institute of Shandong Province, China, Principal Investigator and Honorary Dean of the Research Institute for Multiculturalism and Applied Philosophy at Hunan University, China, and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association in Client Counselling & Organisational Consulting. His research focuses upon applied ethics and philosophy in administrative contexts in health, and non-profit organisations. Specifically his interests include ethical decision-making, codes of ethics, existential hardiness, personhood, and ethical climate/culture. He has published numerous refereed articles and is the co-author of five texts dealing with applied ethics. Dr. Malloy’s current research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) & the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation.

André Manseau
Dean of Research
Université du Québec en Outaouais

Dr. André Manseau is Dean of Research at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) since 2008. Beginning his career as Professor of Physics in 1981, he has then held increasingly important management positions in different organizations from the public and private sectors. His current teaching and research area is R&D Management. He is a Board Member of five research centres, including a Social Innovation Research Centre, the Montreal Information Research Centre, the Language Technologies Research Centre, the Gatineau Hospital Research Centre and a Mental Deficiency University Institute. He is also on the Board of the Outaouais Regional Municipalities Council (CRÉO).

Dr. Manseau holds a BSc and an MSc in Science Physics from Université de Sherbrooke, a Master degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the École nationale d’administration publique and a PhD in Management from Université du Québec à Montréal. He is author of significant international publications in the domain of innovation management and policy.